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Author Topic: EA games "crunch time" practices revealed
csk

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Icon 1 posted November 11, 2004 18:12      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As seen on slashdot, the spouse of an EA games employee has written a weblog documenting the sort of work practices that game companies like this one use. Expected 85 hour work weeks and the like, scary stuff. From what I've seen, this is fairly much the norm for game companies (I've seen a similar account on another board from someone married to one of the EQ2 developers).

So, what do we think? Especially those in the game industry (I'm sure there's one or two floating around here, if they've got time)

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6 weeks to go!

Posts: 4455 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
zboy
Mini Geek
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Icon 1 posted November 11, 2004 21:07      Profile for zboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't think it is only the video game industry. I hope that they love their job or find some sort of ... reward out of it. If you are doing something worthwhile or that you love, 85 hours can turn into something that you love.

i am a youth pastor at a local church. I love it, but I have to admit that there are many times when 85 hours in a week is very easy to attain. My wife sometimes gets a little irritated, but I know that I am doing something great for people.

But I too would love to hear what some of you game developers have to say, since I love so many of the games your produce.

Posts: 72 | From: A galaxy far, far, away ... | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
FatGnome
Highlie
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Icon 1 posted November 12, 2004 16:18      Profile for FatGnome     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
heh heh back on the farm I used to put in 100 hour weeks on a regular basis... Got compensated darn fine as well so I didn't mind. If peope don't like the hours they can quit. Not too hard just turn in your resignation.

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What a complete and utter waste of time to read my Signature don't you think?

Posts: 559 | From: Idaho | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
SpikeSpiegel
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted November 12, 2004 16:41      Profile for SpikeSpiegel     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
those bums should be working harder and longer. i want my games damnit oh and your all gay

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its been a while

Posts: 3090 | From: Boston | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Serenak

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Icon 10 posted November 12, 2004 17:33      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
85 hours?

wot a lot of pooftas...

why i remember when i used to get up work 28 hours at mill, come home, get up before i went to bed...

(STOP THAT RIGHT NOW)

Oops, sorry.

Seriously - I have had jobs where long hours were (sort of) compulsory (salaried) and I've had jobs where every minute was logged (waged) - in the end it depends if you are happy/enjoying/fulfilled by your work.

In the end I found every time that the moment I no longer felt fulfilled or appreciated I felt the urge to move on. Sometimes it was easy and sometimes it was hard but that is how I got to my current position (big fish, small pond - but very much appreciated, and man is thatworth its weight in gold!)

"I didn't get where I am today by..."

STOP IT!!!

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

Posts: 1937 | From: Suffolk England | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Xanthine

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
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Icon 1 posted November 12, 2004 19:08      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've put in weeks late that. It wears you down, even if you are enjoying the work. You sorta lose track of the rest of the world. Life is just eating, sleeping, and working. You only se the people you work with. You only know your job. All your dreams are about your job.

I'm a grad student. I typically put in 50-60 hours/week, sometimes more and sometimes less. I'm slaried for 20 hours/week. That's right, part time pay for a full time job, but c'est la vie. I try to keep myself in the range I've described as that's usually enough time to get what I need to do done and, if I want to remain something resembling human, I need to get out every now and then. I also need to pace myself, or else burn out, and since science is just about all I know as far as trades go, I'd be SOL if I ended up quitting.

Anyways, if I don't have time get out and exercise I'll be too out of shape to climb, and that would really really suck.

Posts: 7670 | From: the lab | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted November 13, 2004 05:23      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I does depend on whether you care for your work or not. I worked jobs that regularly kept me on shift 70+ hrs a week and hated it and I have worked jobs with similar hours that I loved.

I told my boss the other day that I missed the break neck pace of the non-gov't world. He thought I was joking.

At the same time with the way things have been at home I have not been able to work like I used to. Though it is getting a bit better so I am off to do 6 side jobs today. Run a new voice line, repair a furnace, and scrape and re-seal a roof are the bigger ones. Whoo-hoo money!

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Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

Posts: 2465 | From: Utarrrrggggghhh!!!!!!!! | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Serenak

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Icon 10 posted November 13, 2004 17:49      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ha,

Shroom, are you stalking me? Jus cos you got the same avatar as me don't mean you have to follow every post with one of yours.. [Smile]

(real life alert)
This is a mild joshing regarding no more than ComShroom's choice of avatar being as mine and the fact that he like to post on the same threads as me...

I think the Cpt Vic thread says it all...

We are geeks, we don't need the Daily News/Daily Star (pick one dependant on geographic location) view of the world to infect ours...

Don't we get picked on enough without chewing ourselves up....???

"SOAPBOX ALERT"
recent postings here have meant that my (poor taste perhaps) minor gag has turned into a self apologetic "excuse and avoid" clause because I suddenly feel I need to justify and qualify every comment...

and that is before anyone else posts...

Bollocks - I need more wine, more cigarettes and probably a thicker skin...

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

Posts: 1937 | From: Suffolk England | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

SuperFan!
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Icon 1 posted November 13, 2004 18:52      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Serenak,
Nah, you just have to join into the "other" collective - the Legion of Superfans. Then, you will truly stand out in the crowd [Smile] . You could even elect to keep the avatar you have now, if Snaggy obligies, and CommanderShroom will be out of luck. If, on the other hand, you let him beat you to the punch, you could be out of a really cool avatar, and would /definitely/ have to become a Superfan to have a truly amazing avatar.

Either way, everyone wins [Razz] .

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drunkennewfiemidget
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted November 14, 2004 05:07      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I can't really say there's anything terribly wrong with that -- crunch time at every software company I've ever worked at resulted in 50-60 hour weeks. EASILY. In front of a computer hammering out code is where I spent most of my life from the age of 15 until now. It's just how it works.

As long as you get appreciated, and paid for it, who the hell cares?

I was brought pizza, and given tickets to concerts, plus got paid, etc.. that's just how it is when you got a deadline.

EA is no different from anyone else.

Posts: 4897 | From: Cambridge, ON, Canada | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
CommanderShroom
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted November 14, 2004 06:17      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I have been found out. Seranak, I think you would be perfect for my collection. Just come to California and I will show you my game room. I call it my little Hotel California. [evil]

Hmmm, you could be a pre-emptive stalker, that's why you posts are sometimes before mine. And I am an American, I know about pre-emptive attacks.
[Big Grin]


Someday I will make Superfan status, Probably after I get these short kid things out of the house.

--------------------
Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

Posts: 2465 | From: Utarrrrggggghhh!!!!!!!! | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
csk

Member # 1941

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Icon 1 posted November 14, 2004 16:42      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
I can't really say there's anything terribly wrong with that -- crunch time at every software company I've ever worked at resulted in 50-60 hour weeks. EASILY. In front of a computer hammering out code is where I spent most of my life from the age of 15 until now. It's just how it works.

As long as you get appreciated, and paid for it, who the hell cares?

I was brought pizza, and given tickets to concerts, plus got paid, etc.. that's just how it is when you got a deadline.

EA is no different from anyone else.

Ahh, but is that really true? I've been in the software industry, I've been in crunch time first hand. And yes, sometimes it's unavoidable.

But the accusations I've seen are that with EA it isn't a result of project overruns, bad estimation, etc. They deliberately plan from the start to work people that hard. That to me is insane for two reasons: they are exploiting the workers, since their real per hour rate is pitiful when you consider the permanent crunch status. Secondly, people under that much pressure and working that many hours make more mistakes. It's inevitable, and it causes more cleanup. So everything actually takes longer than if people were allowed more reasonable hours. If ever anyone had time to sit down and analyse how much time people spent fixing stupid little (or big) errors versus actual productive work, they'd probably be surprised.

Edit: Oh, and for those suggesting "If they don't like it, leave". Conventional wisdom dictates that one secures another job before resigning from the first one. If one is working 75+ hours per week, how does one even find the time for getting a CV together/updated, let alone interviews and so on.

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6 weeks to go!

Posts: 4455 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
drunkennewfiemidget
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted November 14, 2004 17:29      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by csk:
[QUOTE]
Edit: Oh, and for those suggesting "If they don't like it, leave". Conventional wisdom dictates that one secures another job before resigning from the first one. If one is working 75+ hours per week, how does one even find the time for getting a CV together/updated, let alone interviews and so on.

And lets not even get started on the friggen IT industry as it is anyway... [Eek!]
Posts: 4897 | From: Cambridge, ON, Canada | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted November 14, 2004 17:33      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why do managers do this kind of shit?

Because they can.

Because we let them.

Well, I say 'we', I mean 'you', I don't take that shit any more, if the meters not running, I'm not working.
As a Wise Man once said
"Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice ... um ... err ... you can't fool me again"

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Swiss Mercenary

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Icon 1 posted November 15, 2004 03:37      Profile for Swiss Mercenary     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I suppose that most of you have already seen this, but I will post it all the same. [Wink] [Razz]

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Evil AI at work.
I am Swiss of Borg. Holes are irrelevant, cheese will be assimilated!

Posts: 2275 | From: All the way from the land of Chocolate, Cheese and Cuckoo Clocks. | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged


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